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What's Happenin': Tuesday, October 26, through Wednesday, November 10 PDF Print E-mail
Lifestyle - Noteworthy Events
Written by Mike Schulz   
Tuesday, 26 October 2010 06:00

Tomas KubinekMusic

Tomáš Kubínek & Orchestra Iowa: Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony

Iowa City West High School

Friday, November 5, 7:30 p.m.


Czech-born entertainer Tomáš Kubínek, who has displayed his ingratiating talents everywhere from Tokyo’s Asahi Hall to Broadway’s New Victory Theatre, is a multi-hyphenate if ever there was one: a musician-comedian-magician-director-vaudevillian-inventor-clown-award-winning-housefly-catcher. (Check out his Web site at I am so not kidding about that last one.)

And when, on November 5, Kubínek appears at Iowa City’s West High School – in the latest presentation in Hancher Auditorium’s Visiting Artist series – he’ll actually add another hyphenate to that description: “-conductor.” In Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony, this internationally renowned “Certified Lunatic and Master of the Impossible” will lead Orchestra Iowa in an exciting and riotous world premiere, a collaboration between Kubínek and the acclaimed symphony that’s currently celebrating its 89th season.

A blend of soaring orchestral exuberance and its conductor’s unique comic stylings, the performance will surely underscore why Orchestra Iowa is one of the country’s most lauded ensembles, and why Kubínek has been described by the New York Times as “absolutely expert and consistently charming” and by London’s Time Out magazine as “hilarious and enormously talented.” But if you’re looking for raves, allow me to direct you to my favorite, taken from Kubínek’s biography page:

“Lovers have had their first dates at his performances, children been introduced to the magic and power of theater, the elderly at death’s door have finally witnessed the quintessential ultimate solo artist of their golden lives, criminals have had their hearts opened and been transformed into respectable pillars of society, crooked politicians have seen the error of their ways, shy stuttering wallflowers have been catapulted into mighty operatic divas, and timid men with prescription eyeglasses have blossomed into ferocious leaders able to lead their nations in the struggle for justice for the downtrodden and towards an awakening to the sacredness of the ever-present and largely overseen miracle of our mere existence in this ever-evolving, magical, overwhelmingly tragic and beautiful universe.”

Hard to believe Hancher’s charging less than 40 bucks a head, huh?

For more information on, and tickets to, Professor Kubínek Meets the Symphony, call (319)335-1160 or visit



Kalen Harriman and Scot West in BoomTheatre


Riverside Theatre

Friday, October 29, through Sunday, November 21


There are those who believe the world will end with a whimper, and those who believe it’ll end with a bang. Based on his apocalypse comedy Boom – running from October 29 through November 21 at Iowa City’s Riverside Theatre – I’m guessing that playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is going with the latter notion. It’s just that it might be more of a metaphorical bang.

Boom is, in many ways, your typical boy-meets-girl story ... if by “typical” you mean “not typical in the slightest.” Answering a personal ad for a night of “sex to change the course of the world,” journalism major Jo arrives at the home of marine-biology grad student Jules, and quickly realizes that their blind date might not necessarily go in the direction she anticipated. For one thing, Jules is gay. And for another, it turns out it’s the last blind date she’ll ever go on; before they even become properly acquainted, a comet will have struck the earth, killing everyone on the planet except Jo and Jules.

What follows, as the couple makes plans to repopulate the human race (or, you know, not), forms a surreal, hysterical, and even profound anti-romantic-comedy that the New York Times praised for Nachtrieb’s “gift for darkly funny dialogue and appealing way of approaching big themes sideways.”

Bruce Wheaton, who directs Boom for Riverside, concurs, saying, “Ideas are launched like little rockets,” in Nachtrieb’s 2008 play. “They collide, they flare, they burst into jokes – some of which would’ve made my mom blush.” Gotta remember not to invite my own mom to this one. I’d bet anything she blushed just reading my opening “bang” gag.

Performances of Boom are at 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays, and tickets can be reserved by calling (319)338-7672 or visiting



Chubby CheckerMusic

Chubby Checker

Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center

Thursday, November 4, 7:30 p.m.


In an interview conducted years after his name became synonymous with American dance music, Chubby Checker was quoted as saying, “In a way, ‘The Twist’ really ruined my life. I was on my way to becoming a big nightclub performer, and ‘The Twist’ just wiped it out. No one ever believes I have talent.”

Who’s up for believing otherwise?

On November 4, the legendary, Grammy Award-winning performer Chubby Checker plays the Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, and chances are excellent that more than a few patrons will be on their feet when the beloved singer launches into his signature smash. Checker, however, is anything but a one-hit wonder. True, the still-enormously-popular touring sensation did see his 1960 take on “The Twist” top the Billboard charts (twice!) and be named the magazine’s number-one song in its recent “All-Time Hot 100” list. But as Checker is the only artist to boast nine double-sided hit records, and the only musician to have five albums in Billboard’s Top 12 simultaneously, his discography is hardly lacking for other dance-floor favorites.

Of the following 1960s singles, which Chubby Checker tune did not rank in the top 10 on Billboard’s charts?


1) “Dancin’ Party”

2) “The Fly”

3) “Let’s Twist Again”

4) “Limbo Rock”

5) “Pony Time”

6) “Popeye the Hitchhiker”

7) “Slow Twistin’”


For tickets to Chubby Checker’s concert at Bettendorf’s Quad-Cities Waterfront Convention Center, call (800)724-5825 or visit


Answer: 1. “Dancin’ Party,” though, was a top-20 hit. As was Checker’s “Birdland.” As was “Loddy Lo.” As were “Let’s Limbo Some More,” “Twenty Miles,” “The Hucklebuck,” and “Hooka Tooka.” No talent, indeed.



The Second Annual Zombie Pride ParadeEvents

Halloween Events

Downtown Davenport and Downtown Rock Island

Thursday, October 28, through Sunday, October 31



(That was my attempt to start this piece on a sufficiently terrifying note. Did it work? ’Cause it sounded awesome in my head.)

Well, boys and ghouls, it’s time again for every dentist’s favorite holiday, and as usual, the Quad Cities are providing an outstanding bevy of annual Halloween tricks and treats. For the kids, there’s Rock Island’s Fright Night in the District on October 28, featuring a children’s costume contest, a treasure hunt, scary stories, make-and-take art activities, and more. Two days later, the District’s Daiquiri Factory will host its Third Annual Boneyard Boogie, in which the adults get to play dress-up (and for thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, to boot) while enjoying tunes by DJ Neewollah, the local musicians of uneXpected, and, at 9 and 11 p.m., performances by the Michael Jackson Thriller Dance Team.

October 29 brings with it this year’s silent(-but-deadly) art auction Deadstock at the Bucktown Center for the Arts, where patrons are encouraged to wear their creepiest ensembles while enjoying live music and bidding on more than 70 donations by local and national visual artists.

The City of Davneport’s annual Halloween Parade starts at 7 p.m. on October 31 at River Drive and Western Avenue, with the route going east on Second Street to Perry Street, and then back to Western on River Drive.

And as a dyed-in-the-wool zombie fan – or rather, a died-in-the-wool zombie fan ... MWAH-HA-HA-A-A-A!!! – I’d be remiss if I didn’t encourage everyone to hit the streets of downtown Davenport for Halloween night’s second-annual Zombie Pride Parade, which begins at Bucktown at 6 p.m. Arrive in your most disconcerting zombie attire or have your makeup done, on site, by the professionals of Motif Productions, and join hundreds of your fellow undead for a spirited lurch-and-stumble in the cool night air. (But don’t run. Despite recent cinematic evidence to the contrary, zombies don’t run.)

According to event organizer Alex Iaccarino, 2009’s Zombie Pride Parade amassed roughly 300 participants. But out-of-town promotion, viral marketing, and word-of-(gaping-)mouth have him anticipating some 1,500 this year, so you’ll want to get there early to stake out the premium brains.

Be sure, too, to save some of your lumbering energies for the post-parade Rave to the Grave at the Redstone Room. The DJs, including Chronik Solutionz, will keep the hardcore techno thumping, the lighting and smoke effects will keep you happily disoriented, and costume-contest prizes will include gifts from O’Tool Design Custom Tattoo, Joshua Ford Photography, and Iaccarino’s ThatKidWhoDraws art collection. The cover charge is $15 for humans but a mere $10 for zombies; as I like to put it, “munch a limb, save a fin.”


You’re so relieved I only write these Halloween-themed What’s Happenin’s once a year, aren’t you?

More information on the Zombie Pride Parade is available at, and information on other Halloween events in the Quad Cities can be found below in the What Else Is Happenin’ section, and our online calendars of events at



What Else Is Happenin’...?


Thursday, October 28 – J-san & the Analogue Sons. Dub, soul, and roots rockers in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 9 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (563)326-1333 or visit

Saturday, October 30 – Carl Palmer: An Evening of Emerson, Lake, & Palmer Music. Concert with progressive-rock drummer and his band, featuring a post-show meet-and-greet with Palmer. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $22-25. For tickets and information, call (319)688-2653 or

Saturday, October 30 – 1964: The Tribute. Songs from the pre-Sgt. Pepper’s era, with one of the world’s premier Beatles tribute acts. Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $31.50. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Friday, November 5 – Gaither Homecoming Tour. Annual gospel concert with Grammy Award-winner Bill Gaither, featuring performances by Wes Hampton, David Phelps, Michael English, and Mark Lowry. i wireless Center (1201 River Drive, Moline). 7 p.m. $33-43. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Saturday, November 6, and Sunday, November 7 – Quad City Symphony Orchestra. The second Masterworks concerts of the season, with Mark Russell Smith conducting a program of magic and fantasy that includes Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette,” and Dukas’ “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” Saturday – Adler Theatre (136 East Third Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. Sunday – Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 2 p.m. $12-52. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Sunday, November 7 – Jack’s Mannequin. Pop-punk rockers in concert. The University of Iowa’s Iowa Memorial Union, Main Lounge. (125 North Madison Street, Iowa City). 7 p.m. $20-25. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Monday, November 8 – Kate Nash. 23-year-old indie-rock singer/songwriter in concert. Englert Theatre (221 East Washington Street, Iowa City). 8 p.m. $14-18. For tickets, call (800)745-3000 or visit

Monday, November 8 – Genesis Doctors in Recital. Quad Cities physicians and their families perform a musical benefit concert, with funds going toward musical-therapy programs for Genesis Medical Center hospice patients. Augustana College’s Centennial Hall (3703 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. $20-25. For tickets and information, call (563)421-6865, (309)764-9300, or (309)794-7306.

Wednesday, November 10 – The Reverend Horton Heat. Dallas-based rockabilly trio in concert, with openers Split Lip Rayfield and Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers. Rock Island Brewing Company (1815 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $20-25. For information, call (309)793-4060 or visit For a 2009 interview with The Reverend Horton Heat’s Jim Heath, visit For a 2005 interview with Split Lip Rayfield’s Eric Mardis, visit For a 2009 inteview with Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers’ J.D. Wilkes, visit

Wednesday, November 10 – The Flatlanders. Americana and country musicians in concert. The Redstone Room (129 Main Street, Davenport). 8 p.m. $25. For information and tickets, call (563)326-1333 or visit



Saturday, October 30 – Crossing the Line. A theatrical anthology of testimonials on violence, loss, and war, presented by guest artists from the DAH Teatar Research Center of Serbia. Augustana College’s Potter Hall, Bergendoff Hall of Fine Arts (3701 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island). 7:30 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)794-7306 or visit

Thursday, November 4, through Saturday, November 6 – The Underpants. Farcical adultery comedy by Steve Martin. Black Hawk College, Building 1, Room 306 (6600 34th Avenue, Moline). 7:30 p.m. $4 at the door. For information, call (309)796-5419 or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Wednesday, November 10, through Friday, December 31 – Plaid Tidings. Holiday-themed sequel to the ’50s-boy-band musical-comedy Forever Plaid. Circa ’21 Dinner Playhouse (1828 Third Avenue, Rock Island). Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Thursday, November 11 – 6 p.m. dinner, 7:45 p.m. show; Sundays 4 p.m. dinner, 5;45 p.m. show; Wednesdays 11:45 a.m. plated lunch, 1:30 p.m. show. $27.11-46.39. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit



Thursday, November 4 – Andy Kindler. Stand-up comedian and Late Show with David Letterman correspondent in concert. The Circa ’21 Speakeasy (1818 Third Avenue, Rock Island). 8 p.m. $15. For tickets and information, call (309)786-7733 extension 2 or visit



Thursday, October 28 – Fright Night in the District. Annual family event featuring a children’s costume contest, a treasure hunt, scary stories, make-and-take activities, and more. The District of Rock Island. 5-8 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)788-6311 or visit

Friday, October 29 – Deadstock. Annual silent art auction and Halloween party, featuring live music and more than 70 donations by local artists. Bucktown Center for the Arts (225 East Second Street, Davenport). 6 p.m. Free admission. For information, call (309)230-1594 or visit

Saturday, October 30 – Boneyard Boogie. Third-annual Halloween event for adults, featuring a costume contest, D.J. Neewollah, performances by the Thriller Dance Team, music by uneXpected, and more. Daiquiri Factory (1809 Second Avenue, Rock Island). 7 p.m. Free admission and pizza to the first 200 entrants. For information, call (309)283-1809 or visit

Friday, November 5, through Sunday, November 7 – Antique Spectacular. Three-day sale featuring vintage furniture, art, books, jewelry, coins, toys, and more. QCCA Expo Center (2621 Fourth Avenue, Rock Island). Friday 5-9 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday11 a.m.-4 p.m. $6 admission good for all three days. For information, call (712)326-9964 or visit

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